Vegan Quinoa & Kale Power Protein Bowl

Vegan-chickpea-quinoa-kale-zucchini-UPCLOSE…and the quinoa-palooza has officially begun!  🙂 These twin sister, registered dietitians and personal trainers are fans of this healthy comfort food and we’ve gotta give a girl (and a guy!) some carbs!  Yup, we’re all for healthy carbs (phew! ) like quinoa –a wholesome, high protein, high fiber, healthy carb that prevents your energy from dipping, preventing sugar cravings!  The truth is, if you have a moderate portion (about 1/2 -3/4 cup cooked of a wholesome carb (hello quinoa!)  you’ll avoid the nasty cravings for the unhealthy carbs because you’ll give your brain and muscles carbohydrates, the fuel they need, so you won’t crave energy!  That means you won’t be looking for an energy boost or a quick pick-me-up—buh bye sugar cravings!

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Not only have you been requesting lots of recipes with quinoa, (that’s why we’ve given you lil’ numbers like our:

One-Pot Quinoa Chickpea & Avocado Bowl

Coconut Quinoa Chicken Nuggets

One-Pot Black Bean Quinoa Chili with Avocado

Quinoa Breakfast Nibbles

Choco-nilla Oats & Quinoa Swirl

Vegan_Quinoa_Kale_Collage

…but we knew it was time to make some more since the clamoring has continued! Quinoa is warm comfort food in the winter—and makes cool, comfort food in the summer.

And since summer days beg for a cool dish,, this spiced summer bowl filled with summery greens like zucchini and kale and protein packed heroes like quinoa and chickpeas can be made ahead of time and only gets better as it waits. What more could you ask for!? Oh except that you can prepare this without the added olive oil for an even lighter meal with even fewer calories for the same great taste!

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Vegan Quinoa & Kale Power Protein Bowl

Have one delicious serving as a side to grilled fish or chicken and veggies, or make a whole meal of it by having three servings.  

Makes 5 servings (approximately 1/2 cup each)

Ingredients

Dressing: (2 tbsp added 48 calories/ serving)

1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp turmeric

1/4 tsp paprika

small pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

2 tsp minced garlic, plus ½ tsp for oil dressing (you may want to add more garlic if you’re a garlic lover!)

sea salt to taste

Salad:

½ cup quinoa, cooked (we used a mix of red and white just for fun!)

1 cup canned chickpeas, drained

1 medium zucchini, cut into evenly sized, small chunks

1 cup curly kale, leaves chopped into small pieces, stems removed (measure 1 cup of chopped kale leaves)

 

This dish can be made without any oil for a lower fat meal. (See below)

 

0006_NutritionTwins-chickpea-quinoa-kale-zucchini-garlic-paprika-tumeric-cumin_logoDirections with oil.

  1. Place olive oil in a small bowl and mix the cumin, turmeric, paprika, red pepper flakes (optional), ½ tsp minced garlic and a pinch of salt into the olive oil, set aside to marinate.
  1. Before cooking the quinoa according to the package, we toasted ours slightly for 1 minute by lightly spritzing olive oil in a spray jar in a pan to bring out more flavor. You can omit the olive oil and toast briefly, too, just stirring over the heat for 1 minute.. After toasting, cook the quinoa according to package directions.
  1. Next spritz the same pan you toasted the quinoa in with a little olive oil and sauté over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, the 2 tsp minced garlic, chickpeas, zucchini and kale. Just until the garlic releases it aroma and the zucchini begins to sweat. Remove from heat. Season with salt to taste.
  1. Toss sautéed vegetables and chickpeas with quinoa. Let sit for a few minutes, the heat will further soften the kale.
  1. Give the oil and spice mix a stir, drizzle over the entire bowl and stir. . . Salt to taste.

This can be eaten immediately and also tastes great chilled– and if you put it covered, in the fridge for a little while to chill, the flavor’s will also mingle and increase!

 

Directions without oil.

Mix cumin, turmeric, paprika, optional red pepper flakes, ½ tsp garlic and salt together, dry.

Skip step 1 and begin with Step 2.

After Step 4, sprinkle sparingly, mixing and tasting, the dry spice mix over combined quinoa, chickpea and vegetable bowl until the flavor suits you.

 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving (With Olive Oil):

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 106 Calories, 3 g Fat, 0 g Saturated Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 21 mg Sodium, 16 g Carbohydrate, 4 g Fiber, 2 g Sugar, 5 g Protein

 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving (Without Olive Oil)

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 94 Calories, 1 g Fat, 0 g Saturated Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 21 mg Sodium, 16 g Carbohydrate, 4 g Fiber, 2 g Sugar, 5 g Protein

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Vegan Quinoa & Kale Power Protein Bowl
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Ingredients
  • ½ Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • small pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic, plus ½ tsp for oil dressing (you may want to add more garlic if you’re a garlic lover!)
  • sea salt to taste
  • ½ cup quinoa, cooked (we used a mix of red and white just for fun!)
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into evenly sized, small chunks
  • 1 cup curly kale, leaves chopped into small pieces, stems removed (measure 1 cup of chopped kale leaves)
Instructions
  1. Directions with oil.
  2. Place olive oil in a small bowl and mix the cumin, turmeric, paprika, red pepper flakes (optional), ½ tsp minced garlic and a pinch of salt into the olive oil, set aside to marinate.
  3. Before cooking the quinoa according to the package, we toasted ours slightly for 1 minute by lightly spritzing olive oil in a spray jar in a pan to bring out more flavor. You can omit the olive oil and toast briefly, too, just stirring over the heat for 1 minute.. After toasting, cook the quinoa according to package directions.
  4. Next spritz the same pan you toasted the quinoa in with a little olive oil and sauté over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, the 2 tsp minced garlic, chickpeas, zucchini and kale, Just until the garlic releases it aroma and the zucchini begins to sweat. Remove from heat. Season with salt to taste.
  5. Toss sautéed vegetables and chickpeas with quinoa. Let sit for a few minutes, the heat will further soften the kale.
  6. Give the oil and spice mix a stir, drizzle over the entire bowl and stir. . . Salt to taste.
  7. This can be eaten immediately and also tastes great chilled-- and if you put it covered, in the fridge for a little while to chill, the flavor’s will also mingle and increase!
  8. Directions without oil.
  9. Mix cumin, turmeric, paprika, optional red pepper flakes, ½ tsp garlic and salt together, dry.
  10. Skip step 1 and begin with Step 2.
  11. After Step 4, sprinkle sparingly, mixing and tasting, the dry spice mix over combined quinoa, chickpea and vegetable bowl until the flavor suits you.
Notes
*Nutrition shown for recipe using oil, see blog for nutrition facts without oil.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ cup Calories: 106 Fat: 3 g Saturated fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 16 g Sugar: 2 g Sodium: 21 mg Fiber: 4 g Protein: 5 g Cholesterol: 0 mg

 

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